Using CARP Principles in PowerPoint Design

carp

In the design world, CARP stands for Contrast, Alignment, Repetition, and Proximity. While all of these principles are equally important, the one I struggle the most with is Proximity. I would try to cram as much onto one slide as I possibly could. It was impossible to tell which elements went together and which elements were stand-alone. Once I saw the error of my ways, I started using proximity to give the audience a visual clue instead of making them figure it out for themselves.

Grouping is fairly easy. Give any kid a bucket of Legos and tell them to sort them by color. They will instinctively create little piles with plenty of space between them. So the next time you sit down to create a slide, embrace your inner child — put like things together and leave enough space so the colors don’t get mixed up.

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